Photo: Getty Images/Christ Graythen
A hip-hop mogul has pitched an idea to the New York Police Department that would reward people who surrender their guns with tickets to Beyonce and Jay-Z concerts, according to the New York Daily News.Michael “Blue” Williams of Family Tree Entertainment — who has managed Cee-Lo Green and OutKast — says he is awaiting the green light from the NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly to jumpstart the “Guns for Greatness” program.
In a letter to Kelly last week, Williams wrote: “This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing.”
“We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it,” Kelly told the Daily News. He is reportedly reviewing the proposal with police and city officials.
Williams told the Daily News that “[t]he Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium. Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support.”
Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s teams would have to agree to donate concert tickets. Neither has signed onto the project yet.
Williams likened the program to NYC’s current buyback program that allows New York residents to surrender their guns for $250 cash, saying he would like to launch the program March 23 at a local church if the police department approves.
He told the Daily News that he has raised $75,000 for the project, and hopes to raise another $25,000. The project already has the support of New York City radio station Hot 97 and IHOP.
Kelly said that if the program is a go, police would need to be present during the exchanges: “You need police officers present. You’d need the expertise,” he said.
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